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Alejandro Mendieta Blanco (centre) faced court on hundreds of offences related to stolen jewellery. Image courtesy: The Age
Alejandro Mendieta Blanco (centre) faced court on hundreds of offences related to stolen jewellery. Image courtesy: The Age

Gold dealer connected to jewellery robberies fronts court

Gold and diamond dealer Alejandro Mendieta Blanco, who was charged by Victoria Police with selling stolen jewellery last year, has faced court on hundreds of charges.

Along with Julio Mendieta Blanco and Chey Tenenboim, Mendieta Blanco faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday 9 April on 453 separate charges. It was alleged he and the co-accused had knowingly received and sold jewellery stolen from a series of armed robberies.

According to a report by The Age, Mendieta Blanco has also been charged with undervaluing customer’s gold. The report noted that the three men had attempted to “rip off” customers by incorrectly classifying gold jewellery. “In one case, they classified jewellery as nine carats when it was worth 14 [carats],” said the report stated.

It is understood that next month, the court will hear testimony from some of the alleged armed robbers, as well as “civilian witnesses” who will give evidence on how their jewellery had been stolen.

Additional scrutiny

As previously reported by Jeweller, Mendieta Blanco has also been implicated in two other investigations.

In January 2018, Mendieta Blanco was ordered to pay diamond supplier Australian Diamond Trading Corporation (ADTC) more than $200,000. The judgement, which was handed down by the Supreme Court of Victoria, stemmed from a 2016 injunction between the ADTC and diamond dealer Ronnie Ben-Simon.

In addition, Mendieta Blanco is reportedly being investigated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for his alleged participation in the goods and services tax (GST) fraud scheme involving the gold bullion and precious metals industries.

It is understood the ATO began investigating Mendieta Blanco’s tax affairs approximately 12 months ago, after a business activity statement was submitted for his Sell Your Gold business that requested a GST refund of approximately $1 million.

The three men are expected to face court again on 7 May.

More reading
Gold dealer linked to jewellery robberies ordered to pay $200,000
Melbourne jewellery robberies linked to gold GST fraud
Breakthrough in Melbourne jewellery robberies

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Saturday, 07 December, 2019 10:19am
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